GroundWorks was privileged to be invited by Jenny Burnett and Falon Baltzell from the Hathaway Brown Performing Arts Department to be the artists in residence at the school for a week last Nov. 30 to Dec. 4. The program is sponsored by the HB Patron of the Performing Arts Endowment Fund, making possible creative exchanges with visiting artists from different disciplines and genres. It is inspired by the school motto “We learn not for school but for life” an essential part of the HB curriculum offering a well-rounded education that transcends the classroom.

While at HB, GroundWorks Artistic Director, its Outreach Coordinator and the company members taught master classes, workshops and performed two pieces from repertory at 3 separate assemblies for students from all grade levels in an inclusive approach that reached over 780 students.

GroundWorks’ intent throughout its residency was to share, regardless of experience with dance, creative movement tools and perspectives actively employed by the company in our approach to making work. Using movement concepts as a springboard, it was our hope to inspire confidence, and the potential for new creative insights for the students. Also to affirm through artistic excellence an appreciation for the art form of dance and work of the company.

It was a pleasure to be immersed in the culture of a school where learning is so alive. The artists felt appreciated and encouraged to share their knowledge and skills by the level of engagement from the students and staff. In response to our performances – “well received…demonstrated by audience laughter, invested concentration and thunderous applause…” In response to our work in the classroom – “Incorporating personal movement into a duet was fruitfully challenging, exciting because it was new, and exhilarating to watch our colleagues perform their duets.”

Our time with our dance colleagues, the students and staff at Hathaway Brown was very rewarding, and we are grateful for and energized by our creative exchange. “our HB community thoroughly enjoyed having GroundWorks as guest artists for the week. David, Mark, and the GroundWorks dancers were a breath of fresh air, and they left us encouraged to try their new ideas in our classrooms.”